In the immediate decades after World War II, the systematic murder of 6,000,000 Jews as part of Nazi genocide had not acquired a name of its own. When I learned about the fate of the Jews during the Final Solution, during religious school classes and temple youth groups in the 1960s, “Holocaust” hadn’t entered the public lexicon in this context.
But 60 years ago this spring, the Six Million acquired a face in this country.
I live in Hoboken, a town of churches (and 1 synagogue – hi, Rabbi Scheinberg!) This small city’s Catholic character is obvious to any casual visitor, and certainly struck us strongly when we were scouting the place out and toured many apartments for sale above whose pristine beds, plumped up attractively for prospective buyers, sat crucifixes large and small. In fact, one of my neighbors has in her living room two huge portraits: one of Frank Sinatra, and one of the Pope.
One of the pleasures of an occasional press junket to Israel is the opportunity to get to know staff and/or editors of other Jewish community publications.
I’ve just returned from one such mission, cosponsored by the American Jewish Press Association and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism. The long hours on the plane and bus are an opportunity to share "war" stories, play Jewish geography and explore how much we all have in common.
This week’s issue of The Jewish Week includes the latest in a series of stories the paper’s staff has written on the aftermath of Sandy since the Superstorm struck New York, and the surrounding Northeast states, three months ago. This week’s focus, in a report I wrote, is southern Brooklyn – the Atlantic coast neighborhoods like Seagate, Coney Island and Brighton Beach, which suffered a disproportionate amount of flood-caused damage.